Is the right to blame for everything, even 9-11 Truthers?
New York Times Metro reporter Colin Moynihan botched some basic politics in his Friday metro section tribute to a leftist journalist and radio host, "At an On-Air Haven for Dissent, a Voice Is Silenced." Text box: "Taking a stand against 9/11 conspiracy theories."
Moynihan, who has made a cottage industry of issuing flattering coverage of prominent radical leftists, from domestic terrorist William Ayers to convicted terrorist-aiding lawyer Lynne Stewart, was covering the case of Bill Weinberg, a local radio host. Weinberg was fired from left-wing WBAI for accusing his hosts of "promoting fringe right-wing commentators and conspiracy theories claiming that the United States government was behind the destruction of the World Trade Center."
One problem: The so-called Truther movement is identified with the hard left, not the right. That may help explain why the Times has dealt with it in almost flattering fashion the few times that it has covered the subject at all. Most notorious was reporter Alan Feuer’s June 5, 2006 piece from a Truther convention in Chicago.
Moynihan either bungled facts or failed to correct misinformation from the radio host:
For nearly 20 years, an East Village journalist named Bill Weinberg has been a familiar late-night voice on the left-leaning radio station WBAI-FM (99.5), ruminating about radical politics, global turmoil and life in New York City.
In mid-March, however, the station canceled Mr. Weinberg’s program, the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, after he accused WBAI of promoting fringe right-wing commentators and conspiracy theories claiming that the United States government was behind the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Mr. Weinberg said the disagreements that led to his departure began in 2009 when he questioned gifts sent to people who had donated money to the station. The gifts included documentary-style DVDs like "Painful Deceptions" and "Loose Change 9/11," which presented the destruction of the World Trade Center as "an inside job" orchestrated by the Bush administration or by foreign governments with ties to it.
"The output of the lugubrious mini-industry which has sprung up around 9/11 conspiranoia has become increasingly toxic over the passing years," Mr. Weinberg said on the air. "The most innocent of the DVDs and books are just poorly researched, merely exchanging the rigid dogma of the ‘official story’ for another rigid dogma, no more founded in empiricism or objectivity. But, not surprisingly, lots of creepy right-wing types have got on board, using 9/11 as the proverbial thin end of a wedge."